South Australia Flag History
The flag of South Australia is the Australian Blue Ensign with the State badge. The State badge has a piping shrike perched on the branch of a gum tree against a background of the rising sun. It was proclaimed on 13 January 1904.
COAT OF ARMS SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The State Coat of Arms, conferred in a proclamation gazetted on 19 April 1984, replaces an earlier Coat of Arms conferred by King Edward VIII in 1936.
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on a shield. The coat of arms on the shield forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of, that is a shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organisation, or corporation.
The State coat of arms shows the piping shrike set against the golden sun on a blue central shield. The grassy mound underneath has the symbols of the State’s prosperity: ripening wheat and barley, fresh fruit, the metal cogs of industry and a pick to represent the mining industry. The motto on the scroll at the base is simply ‘South Australia’. The crest above the shield has four sprigs of the State flower, Sturt’s desert pea, on a wreath of gold, red and blue.
ANIMAL EMBLEM OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The hair nosed wombat was adopted by the Government as the faunal emblem of South Australia on 27 August 1970. It is a marsupial mammal indigenous to Australia and totally protected in South Australia. The generic name, Lasiorhinus, means hairy-nosed and the specific name, latifrons, means broad-fronted and gives birth to its young which crawls into the mother’s pouch. Wombats eat grass, leaves and roots and dig large burrows to live in. They grow up to one metre in length and may weigh up to 34 kg. It has soft grey-brown silky fur. Adults are up to 30cm high, 75 to 95cm long, and weigh between 18 and 32 kilos. The animal is adapted to life in semi-arid and arid zones and, apart from some small colonies in the south-east of Western Australia, is confined to South Australia. Take this link to buy the South Australia flag.
On 23rd November 1961, the Government adopted sturt’s desert pea (Swainsona Formosa) as the floral emblem of South Australia. Historically the plant is associated with the early explorations of South Australia. Captain Charles Sturt in his “Expedition into Central Australia” describes the finding of this plant in 1845 “towards Coopers Creek”. Since that time his name has always been associated with our Floral Emblem. After the winter rainfalls, the deserts of South Australia blossom and one of the most colourful wildflowers is Sturt’s desert pea.
BIRD EMBLEM OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The piping shrike is the symbolic bird that appears on South Australia’s flag, State Badge and Coat of Arms. The bird appears “displayed proper” with its wings outstretched and curved upwards. Although the image of the piping shrike is readily identified with South Australia, the bird in its own right has never been formally adopted as a faunal or bird emblem of the state. They live in open woodlands and pastures and eat insects, lizards and dead animals and grow up to 40cm long.
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